Sheldon Keefe already linked to rival NHL team.
Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun  

Sheldon Keefe already linked to rival NHL team.

The head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs is already being linked to another team in the Eastern Conference.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be in a state of total chaos at the moment with a major shakeup currently underway in their front office, and amongst all that chaos a number of very spicy rumors are beginning to make the rounds. The latest of these involves current Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe and would see him potentially becoming the head coach of a rival team in the Eastern Conference.

That rumor comes to us courtesy of Maple Leafs reporter James Mirtle who on Monday linked Keefe to the vacancy behind the bench of the New York Rangers in spite of the fact that Keefe is currently still under contract with the Leafs. Keefe has one more year remaining on his deal with the Leafs but many believe that the departure of now former Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will lead to Keefe being fired as well.

The insider does admit however that, by the time Keefe is officially fired, the Rangers may have already moved on.

From Mirtle:

Whether the Rangers job is still vacant at that time remains to be seen, but Keefe has a unique combination of progressive thinking and big-market NHL experience now. That could hold some appeal for the Rangers.

The Rangers are very much in a win-now type of mode, as shown by their big moves ahead of the NHL's trade deadline, and you have to wonder if Keefe's relative lack of success in the playoffs might push the Rangers to look elsewhere. Mirtle is correct in his observation that Keefe would certainly be unphased by the bright lights of New York City after playing in a hockey market like Toronto, and that could give him an edge in the running for the job if he does in fact become available.